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Article

Roger S. Wieck

(Kirtland)

(b St Louis, MO, June 28, 1901; d Gloucester, MA, Dec 30, 1998).

American sculptor. Hancock knew from an early age that he wanted to be a sculptor. He trained under Charles Grafly at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia from 1921 till 1925. Winning the Prix de Rome, Hancock then worked and studied at the American Academy in Rome for three years. Shortly after his return to the States in the spring of 1929, Grafly died and Hancock succeeded him as instructor in sculpture at the Pennsylvania Academy, where he taught until 1967. Beginning in 1930, Hancock maintained a studio on Cape Ann, the Massachusetts artists’ colony. In his four years in the army during World War II, he helped protect monuments and reclaim stolen art.

Hancock’s conservative style lent itself to public works, and he is best known for monumental commissions. The most important of these is the Pennsylvania Railroad War Memorial in Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station (commissioned in ...

Article

Jenifer P. Borum

(b Dallas, GA, Oct 11, 1928; d Alcoa, TN, Aug 12, 1994).

Sculptor of African American and Native American heritage. Born to Homer and Rosie Mae White, Bessie Ruth White was the seventh of 13 children. She married Charles Harvey at age 14, and moved with him to Buena Vista, GA. She later separated from Harvey and moved to Alcoa, TN, where she settled and raised 11 children as a single mother.

Throughout most of her adult life, Harvey experienced visions that did not engage the dogma of her Christian faith, but rather revealed a powerful divine presence in nature. After the death of her mother in 1974, she began to see faces in the dead branches and roots found in the woods near her home in Aloca, and believed them to be animated by spirits. By adorning these roots and branches with paint, costume jewelry and found materials, Harvey revealed the identity of the spirits locked therein—some Biblical and some lost African ancestors. She understood her role as that of a conduit for divine intelligence, claiming “God is the artist in my work.”...

Article

Atteqa Ali

(b Aligarh, India, 1937).

Printmaker of Indian birth. Zarina, known professionally by her first name only, received a BSc from Aligarh’s Muslim University in 1958. She worked at Atelier 17 in Paris from 1964 to 1967 and studied woodblock printing in Tokyo. With her works she opens up discussions of dislocation, exile, partition and migration. These loaded topics are handled in lighter ways; her black-and-white pictures do not burden viewers with a lot of visual information. Instead, her imagery relies on the extended meanings of lines and shapes: borders, separation and units, among other things. Her semi-abstract, minimal style does not have the cool formalism that one might associate with the Minimalist movement. Perhaps because she often utilizes the woodblock technique, she softens hard edges and customizes the style to her needs. Her subject matter is, likewise, a personalized interpretation of larger concerns.

Zarina has traversed many boundaries in her life, and much of her oeuvre is about her personal journeys that are both actual and conceptual. She has lived in several places including India, Paris and New York and considers home to be an idea more than a physical structure. In her mind, home is a transitory site that moves along with you. Yet, she made a portfolio of prints, ...

Article

Tom Williams

(b San Francisco, CA, 1960).

American multimedia artist. He earned a BFA from San Jose University in 1984 and an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1989. He is best known for repurposing everyday materials in inventive sculptural constructions that often feature aural, kinetic and interactive elements. Many of his works feature radically unconventional self-portraits that have been physically transformed or technologically mediated. His work has been the subject of a number of exhibitions at prominent institutions, including the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC (2001) and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (2004).

Some of his most inventive and celebrated works have included a small bird skeleton made of his own nail clippings and a series of clocks made by motorizing parts of ordinary objects such as strands of hair caught in the bristles of a hairbrush and the tab on a soda can. Through such works, he memorialized the passing of time and, as many critics have pointed out, transformed ordinary objects into ...

Article

Julia Robinson

(b Valrico, FL, 1930).

American performance artist and sculptor. Hay started out in the performance scene at Judson Memorial Church in downtown New York City in the early 1960s. He arrived in New York from Florida in 1959, after studying at the Florida State University (1953–8). His wife, the dancer Deborah Hay, was a key figure in the Judson Dance Theater, launched in the summer of 1962, and Alex Hay performed in many of its productions. In the early 1960s he assisted Robert Rauschenberg on set designs for Merce Cunningham, and danced with him with roller-skates and parachutes in Rauschenberg’s now famous performance piece Pelican (1963). After these collaborations, Hay was invited to participate in 9 Evenings: Theater & Engineering at New York’s 69th Regiment Armory (fall 1966). This initiative, conceived by Rauschenberg with critical contributions from the engineer Billy Klüver, was an idealistic effort to pair artists with engineers, to merge art and new technologies. That project evolved into ...

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

(Gregoria)

(b Santiago, Chile, Oct 17, 1868; d Winthrop, MA, Feb 3, 1953).

American architect. Hayden was the first woman to graduate with a four-year degree in architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA. Her most notable design was her first and last project: the Woman’s Building at the 1893 Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition. A controversial structure (as many women objected to having their work placed in a separate location), the building brought Hayden, a reserved young woman, sudden, albeit brief, national fame.

Raised in Jamaica Plains, MA, Hayden was admitted to MIT in 1886 and graduated with honors in 1890. She taught mechanical drawing at the Eliot School in Jamaica Plains and in 1891 entered the national competition for the Woman’s Building. Hayden’s design—a grand two-story Italian Renaissance-style structure with center and end pavilions, multiple arches, columned terraces, and other classical features—was based on her MIT thesis and reflected her Beaux-Arts training. After she won the coveted first prize, some doubted she had executed the work herself (plagiarism was an accusation faced by many women artists in that era). In response, ...

Article

Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Stuttgart, Jan 8, 1839; d New York, Nov 2, 1883).

American cabinetmaker and designer of German birth. He completed his studies in Stuttgart and Paris and arrived in New York in 1859 to join his half-brother, Gustave Herter (1830–98), who ran a decorating business. After becoming an American citizen in 1867, he travelled to Paris and England, returning c. 1870, when he bought Herter Bros from Gustave. The firm’s luxurious furniture and interiors from the early 1870s show the influence of the Paris Opéra by Charles Garnier, which he had no doubt seen. From the mid-1870s, however, the work of Herter Bros exhibited the more restrained and geometric lines of English design reformers, particularly the architect E. W. Godwin, who promoted an enthusiasm for things Japanese. Although Herter’s best Eastlake-style furniture reflects many of the reform ideas, he also used earlier Renaissance Revival (see fig.) and Néo-Grec designs (see fig.). Much of his work shows a strong Japanese flavour, with angular, ebonized cherry cases enlivened with wild flower, insect and bird marquetry (...

Article

G. Lola Worthington

(b Buffalo, NY, 1950).

Tuscarora artist, writer, educator, and museum director. Hill studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1968–70), and was awarded a Master of Arts degree from SUNY, Buffalo, NY (1980).

Intrigued with Seneca General Ely Parker (General Grant’s Military Secretary), Hill investigated Parker’s life, which took him to Washington, DC, for two years. Hill began to identify with Parker’s experience and realized he would devote himself to enlightening others about Native American arts, knowledge, education, and culture.

Hill was skilled in painting, photography, carving, beading, and basket weaving, and many of these works are located at the Canadian Museum of Civilizations, Quebec; the Woodland Indian Cultural Center, Brantford, Ontario; the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Philbrook Museum of Art, Tulsa, OK; the Indian Arts and Crafts Board, Washington, DC; and the Seneca Iroquois National Museum, Salamanca, NY. He taught at McMaster University, Mohawk College, Six Nations Polytechnic, and SUNY at Buffalo. Hill developed a culturally based Seneca Language curriculum and training models for teaching....

Article

HOK  

Deborah A. Middleton

[Hellmuth Obata and Kassabaum]

American architecture, engineering and interior design firm. Through the acquisition of other leading firms HOK expanded worldwide and in the early 21st century was recognized as the largest architectural firm in the world since 1998, with revenues of over $1 billion annually.

The firm was founded by George Hellmuth (b St. Louis, MO; 5 Oct 1907; d St. Louis, MO; 5 Nov 1999), Gyo Obata (b San Francisco, CA, 28 Feb 1923) and George Kassabaum (b Fort Scott, KS, 1921; d 1982), all graduates of the School of Architecture at Washington University in St Louis, who established their design practice in St Louis, MO, in 1955 with an initial design focus on educational buildings. The master plan and design for the new Edwardsville campus of the University of Southern Illinois became the firm’s first big commission in 1961. HOK’s first corporate building was IBM’s Laboratory at Los Gatos, CA, designed by Obata. Their design objective is to create functional spaces and to enhance the quality of life for those who work and live in them. HOK’s early focus on architectural programming research was a key determinant informing a spatial planning approach to architecture, which, combined with the optimization of the design production process, was instrumental in the firm’s rapid expansion. In ...

Article

Sean Keller

(b Bremerton, WA, Dec 9, 1947).

American architect. Holl studied architecture at the University of Washington, followed by studies in Rome and at the Architectural Association in London. In 1976 he established the firm Steven Holl Architects in New York. Holl is the author of numerous books, including Anchoring (1989), Intertwining (1996), Parallax (2000), and five volumes of the Pamphlet Architecture series (1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, and 1991). His work has received many awards and has been exhibited throughout the world. In 1981 he became a professor at Columbia University.

Informed by a self-professed interest in phenomenology, Holl approached architecture as material poetics, using geometry, materiality, colour, light, volume, and programme to create an architectural experience that exceeds or escapes strictly rational, economic, or technical definition. His architectural language is indebted to modernists such as Adolf Loos and Le Corbusier, as well as to later figures such as ...

Article

Mark Alan Hewitt

(b Brooklyn, New York, Aug 15, 1867; d Pittsburgh, PA, Dec 13, 1961).

American architect and campus planner. The son of Edward Hornbostel, a stockbroker, and Johanna Cassebeer, Hornbostel was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He trained in architecture at Columbia University (BA 1891) and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris (1893–7). Hornbostel distinguished himself as a superb draftsman and renderer, earning in Paris the name, “l’homme perspectif.” His first job following college, with the New York firm of Wood and Palmer, led to a partnership in 1900. He remained with the firm of Palmer & Hornbostel for the remainder of his career.

Hornbostel first earned distinction for his work with the Board of Estimate and Apportionment in New York City, assisting engineers in the design of bridges. Between 1903 and 1917 he was responsible for the architecture of the Queensborough, Manhattan, Pelham Park and Hell Gate bridges—spans for both automobiles and trains. His masterpiece, the Penn Central Hell Gate viaduct (...

Article

Sally B. Woodbridge

(b Chelmsford, MA, May 8, 1864; d San Francisco, CA, July 18, 1931).

American architect. Howard received his architectural training at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and in the offices of H(enry) H(obson) Richardson and McKim, Mead & White. He also attended the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Although he began his practice in New York, most of his career was spent in California where, in 1901, he was appointed Supervising Architect of the architectural plan for the University of California in Berkeley, the result of the 1898–9 International Competition for such a plan. Although the design submitted by Howard’s New York firm was awarded fourth place, political complications following the competition removed the first three winners from consideration and resulted in Howard’s appointment.

Phoebe Apperson Hearst, widow of Senator George Hearst whose fortune came from mining in the western United States and Mexico, funded the competition. She also paid for the Hearst Memorial Mining College building, designed by Howard, which honored her late husband. Completed in ...

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

(b Madison, WI, Sept 25, 1847; d Washington, DC, Nov 20, 1914).

American sculptor. Born Vinnie Ream, Hoxie was a pioneer in a field long dominated by male artists and the first woman sculptor to gain a federal commission. Her strikingly good looks and controversial lifestyle sometimes led male contemporaries to dismiss her as the “pretty chiseler of marble,” but her considerable talent and skill eventually earned her praise and commissions.

Hoxie attended the Academy (part of Christian College), in Columbia, MO, where she began her artistic studies. By 1861 she was living with her family in Washington, DC, and one year later she was working for the postal service. At the age of 16 she became a student–assistant for sculptor Clark Mills (1810–83), and shortly thereafter made relief medallions and portrait busts of congressmen and other public figures. She was still in her teens when she modeled a bust of Abraham Lincoln (1865; Ithaca, NY, Cornell U. Lib.) from life—an early success that brought her national attention....

Article

G. Lola Worthington

[Gwe-la-yo-gwe-la-gya-lis]

(b Alert Bay, BC, Canada, 1950).

Kwakwaka’wakw woodcarver. Hunt’s maternal grandfather, Mungo Martin (Kwa-giulth; 1879–1962), was one of the last living carvers on northern Vancouver Island, founder of the Thunderbird Park program in Victoria and one of the first to formulate Kwakwaka’wakw sculptural and painting styles. His paternal father, George Hunt, was an ethnologist, while his brothers, Tony and Stanley, also worked as woodcarvers.

Raised in Victoria British Columbia, and the first to finish high school, his encouraging teacher, who respected his culture, let him carve. Under his father, he became an apprentice in the Carving Program at Thunderbird Park, next to the British Columbia Provincial Museum.

At 21, Hunt assumed the title of Chief Carver at Thunderbird Park, a post held for 12 years. Resigning in 1986, Hunt began his independent artistic career. He is the first Native artist inducted into the Order of British Columbia, 1991, and in 1994 became a member of the Order of Canada. The University of Victoria awarded him an honorary doctorate in ...

Article

Ronald J. Onorato

(Morrison)

(b Hartford, CT, Nov 12, 1864; d Wickford, RI, Jan 1, 1943).

American architect, preservationist, and author. Isham was one of the earliest American architects to specialize in the restoration of colonial American structures. He worked on a large number of 17th- and 18th-century structures in New England, wrote several major works on American architecture, conducted archaeological site work, and also designed new, mostly residential buildings.

Most of his private and professional life was spent in Rhode Island with its large number of existing colonial buildings. The state’s extensive collection of early structures influenced his career, as did other Rhode Island architects who helped generate the Colonial Revival style nationally such as Edmund R. Willson (1856–1906), of the prominent Providence firm of Stone, Carpenter & Willson, with whom Isham trained in the late 1880s. About the same time, he received Bachelor and Master degrees from Brown University, and he married Elizabeth Barbour Ormsbee in 1895.

It is impossible to study colonial American architecture without encountering buildings that Isham restored. While some of his preservation methods and decisions have been superceded by more modern approaches and technologies, he notably produced scores of carefully measured drawings, which are still used by preservationists and historians today. His projects included such significant 17th- and 18th-century structures as Newport’s Colony House, Trinity Church, Redwood Library, and Wanton-Lyman-Allen house (all restored in the 1920s), the Stephen Hopkins House and University Hall at Brown University in Providence, Bishop Berkeley’s Whitehall in Middletown, the Eleazar Arnold House in Lincoln, and the Gilbert Stuart Birthplace in North Kingstown, all Rhode Island. His bibliography encompasses surveys of early Rhode Island and Connecticut homes, scholarly studies on specific buildings, such as the First Baptist Meeting House, Providence, and St Paul’s in Wickford and papers on individual architects such as John Holden Greene....

Article

Joellen Secondo

(b Norwich, 1827; d Norwich, 1881).

English designer and architect. He began his career as an architect, designing and restoring parish churches in the Gothic Revival style. In 1859 he entered into a close association with the iron and brass foundry of Barnard, Bishop & Barnard of Norwich. Jeckyll pioneered the use of the Anglo-Japanese style for furnishings. His fireplace surrounds, grates, chairs, tables and benches often incorporate roundels containing Japanese-inspired floral and geometric ornament. Jeckyll’s foliate-patterned ironwork was featured in Barnard, Bishop & Barnard’s pavilion at the International Exhibition of 1862 in London, and he designed the foundry’s cast- and wrought-iron pavilion for the Centennial Exhibition of 1876 in Philadelphia. This two-storey structure was supported by bracketed columns elaborately decorated with a variety of birds and flowers and was surrounded by railings in the form of sunflowers, a motif that was later adapted to firedogs.

During the 1870s Jeckyll was one of several Aesthetic Movement architects and artists responsible for the interiors of 1 Holland Park, London, the home of the collector ...

Article

Margaret Moore Booker

(Sarah Adeline)

(b Plymouth, IL, Sept 26, 1859; d Washington, DC, Nov 10, 1955).

American sculptor. An ardent woman’s rights advocate, Johnson dedicated her life’s work to promoting and immortalizing woman’s suffrage through her sculpture. The daughter of Illinois farmers, Johnson studied at the St Louis School of Design (1876–9), and at age 18 won prizes for woodcarvings at the state exposition. Encouraged by her success, in 1879 she changed her name to Adelaide and journeyed to Chicago, where she studied and worked as a woodcarver and interior decorator.

Like most women artists of the era, Johnson longed to study abroad. Damages awarded to her after an accident brought her enough money to travel. In 1883 she studied painting in Dresden and in early 1884 she arrived in Rome, where she spent 11 years under the tutelage of Giulio Monteverde and Francesco Fabi-Altini (1830–1906). During those years she made frequent trips to America to continue her career there. Over the next 25 years she had studios at various times in Carrara (Italy), London, New York, Chicago and Washington, DC....

Article

Ethel Goodstein-Murphree

(b Pine Bluff, AR, Jan 31, 1931; d Fayetteville, AR, Aug 30, 2004).

American architect and educator. In 1990, the American Institute of Architects awarded its highest honor, the Gold Medal, to Jones (see AIA Gold Medal). By then, Jones had earned acclaim for his Thorncrown Chapel, (Eureka Springs, AR, 1978–80), described by Robert Ivy, in the biography, Fay Jones, as “among the 20th century’s great works of art.” The chapel appeared relatively late in a career that truly began in 1953 when he spent a summer at Taliesin East. There, in close contact with Wright family, §1, Jones assimilated his mentor’s precepts of Organic architecture. Through the course of a nearly half-century long career, he elaborated these precepts in more than 200 projects, including 135 houses and 15 chapels. Among his clients were Wal-Mart store’s originator Sam Walton, Arkansas governor Orval Faubus and Domino Pizza founder Tom Monaghan. While a member of the University of Arkansas faculty of law, President Bill Clinton lived in a house of Jones’s design, the Adrian Fletcher House; when Hillary Rodham moved to Fayetteville to join her future husband, she resided in another, the Robert Leflar House. Observers of Jones’s work note that he created an “Ozark Style,” but with buildings throughout Arkansas as well as in Texas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Missouri, Kentucky and California to his credit, it is limiting to tie the architecture of Fay Jones to a small corner of his home state. Nevertheless, working from his studio in Fayetteville, Jones filtered the organic tradition of Wright through a lens of Ozark light, landscapes and native materials, creating works of architecture that unified humanity, built form and nature....

Article

Adam M. Thomas

(b Minden, Jan 15, 1902; d Austin, TX, Dec 8, 1985).

American painter of German birth. Kelpe moved to Hannover to study art and architecture in 1919. In the early 1920s he was exposed to the leading abstract trends in European modernism, including Suprematism and Constructivism. Kelpe developed an abstract painting vocabulary characterized by geometric order, hard edges, overlapping planes, and interpenetrating shapes before immigrating to the United States in 1925. He eventually settled in Chicago, where he had his first solo exhibition in 1932 at the Little Gallery. In the late 1920s Kelpe applied found objects to his paintings, as exemplified by Construction with Lock and Key (1927; Washington, DC, Hirshhorn). He abandoned such constructions by the early 1930s in favor of integrating in paint recognizable gears, wheels and machine parts into his abstract compositions. Machine Elements (1934; Newark, NJ, Mus.), with its stacked semi-abstract machine and factory forms, is representative of his work during the period. Kelpe worked for the Public Works of Art Project in ...

Article

Deborah A. Middleton

(Rahman)

(b Dhaka, Bengal [now Bangladesh], April 3, 1929; d Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, March 27, 1982).

American civil engineer of Bangladeshi birth. Khan revolutionized the design of tall buildings in both steel and concrete through his innovation of tube structural systems which assisted in advancing the construction of modern super tall buildings in steel and concrete.

Khan studied at University of Calcutta’s Bengal Engineering College prior to receiving a Bachelor’s degree from University of Dhaka in 1951. In 1952 he received a Fulbright scholarship and a Pakistani Government Scholarship and attended the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana. Khan graduated in 1953 with a master’s degree in structural engineering and a second master’s degree in theoretical and applied mechanics and before returning to Pakistan to work with the Karachi Development Authority as an Executive Engineer. In 1955 Khan was back in Chicago joining the architectural firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), where he advanced to Participating Associate (1961), Associate Partner (...